Auckland woman found guilty of bigamy

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 15:29 04/12/2012

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A Pakuranga woman has been sentenced for the rare offence of bigamy and the not-so-rare offence of attempting insurance fraud.

Razia Sahib was sentenced in the Auckland District Court to four months community detention this afternoon for knowingly marrying a second husband while she was already married and then, with her new husband, burning out a car and trying to claim insurance on it.

She pleaded guilty to attempting to obtain money by deception and was found guilty in the bigamy trial.

Judge Gus Andrée Wiltens said it was "blatant dishonesty" and she should consider herself fortunate that she was not incarcerated.

Sahib married her first husband in New Zealand in what Fairfax understands was an arranged marriage.

She later went to Fiji with her new lover and married him there.

The judge said she tried to say there was confusion over the laws in Fiji but he found that "the second marriage was a lawful ceremony...with you knowing you were still married".

The pair returned to New Zealand and tried an insurance fraud.

Judge Andree Wiltens said the pair drove to a deserted area in their respective cars and then set fire to hers, destroying it.

A few days later Sahib tried to claim $12,000 in insurance for the car.

The judge rejected defence submissions that it was unfair to punish Sahib as her co-offender/husband, known as Mr Lal, had not been brought to justice.

Judge Andree Wiltens said he did not accept that Sahib was under her partner's influence.
 
"You were the driving force behind (the insurance fraud attempt)," he said.

He sentenced her to four months community detention and 120 hours community work.
 
Bigamy carries a maximum term of seven years in prison.

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